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Acute bloody diarrhoea
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Acute bloody diarrhoea

Last update: 2022-06-07

Key facts

Transmission

  • Unwashed hands (after defecating or using a toilet)
  • Food or water contaminated by stools from a sick person
  • Contaminated fruits and vegetables
  • Close physical contact with a sick person

Symptoms

  • Diarrhoea containing blood.
  • Fever, abdominal cramps.
  • Dehydration.

Prevention

  • Promote safe clean drinking water (including a clean covered water container in the household)
  • Use appropriate sanitation facilities (sound, clean latrines)
  • Promote handwashing with soap (especially after using the toilet or cleaning a baby)
  • Promote good food hygiene (thoroughly cooked food, covered food, clean utensils, etc.)
  • Encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life
  • Social mobilization and behaviour change communication

Vulnerable people

  • Children under five years old
  • Children who are malnourished
  • People, especially children, with weakened immune systems (for example, as a result of HIV infection)
  • People living in areas with poor water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and services
  • Elderly people

If an epidemic occurs

  • Initiate community-based surveillance
  • Detect cases and refer them to health facilities
  • Provide oral rehydration (ORS)
  • Promote good food hygiene (thoroughly cooked food, covered food, clean utensils, etc.)
  • Encourage breastfeeding, including when the baby or child is sick
  • Promote safe, clean water (including a clean, covered water container in the household)
  • Promote use of appropriate sanitation facilities (sound, clean latrines)
  • Promote handwashing with soap (especially after using the toilet or cleaning a baby)
  • Increase social mobilization and behaviour change communication
  • Promote recommended health practices

Community-based assessment - questions

Make a map of the community and mark the information you gather on the map. Record other details.

  • When did people start to fall sick with diarrhoea?
  • How many people have fallen sick with bloody diarrhoea? Where?
  • How many people have died from bloody diarrhoea? Where? When?
  • How many people live in the affected community or area?
  • How many children under five years of age live in the affected area?
  • Who and where are the vulnerable people?
  • Are children in the affected community generally well nourished?
  • Do people always have enough food?
  • How common is breastfeeding?
  • Where do people obtain their drinking water? Is the source safe?
  • Do people know how to treat water? How do they do it?
  • What sanitation facilities (including communal latrines) are available? Do people use them?
  • What handwashing facilities are available? Do they have soap?
  • Where are the local health facilities and services? (Include traditional and community carers.)
  • What are the community’s habits, practices and beliefs about caring for and feeding sick people? When babies and infants are sick, do women continue to breastfeed them?
  • Is a social mobilization or health promotion programme in place?
  • What are the community’s habits, practices and beliefs about hygiene, sanitation and water?
  • Which sources or channels of information do people use most?
  • Are rumours or is misinformation about bloody diarrhoea spreading in the community?
  • Can people identify the signs and symptoms of dehydration?
  • Do people know how to make oral rehydration solution (ORS)? Do they have resources at hand to make it?